Wed May 20, 2020 11:34 am
Being properly trimmed at all times is one of the keys, as has been said. There is really no reason why you would routinely choose to fly un-trimmed or, more likely, not-quite-trimmed. And the obvious reason why that's so important is that, as you've discovered, if you are not quite trimmed and then have your attention distracted by something, by the time you look back at the instruments you've gained 100' or wandered off by 10 degrees.
Which brings me to the next point. If you ever progress to Instrument Flying one of the core skills you will develop is the Instrument Scan, which is a constant, relentless, sytematic scan of the instruments in a way so that any divergence from the desired attitude or heading is picked up before it results in you straying off your level or course. Although we don't teach the same skill for VFR flying per se, in fact you ought to be doing much the same thing: scanning across the key instruments every few seconds as well as constantly monitoring your primary attitude indicator which, in VFR flying, is the horizon. That way you will pick up any divergence before it manifests itself into an actual change in course or level. If your attention is distracted for a few seconds (by, for example, having to re-fold the chart or change frequency) then you need to discipline yourself to return your attention to the key references for a few seconds every few seconds, which often results in you 'chunking down' the distracting action into a series of shorter actions.
If you do those two things then you will find it much easier to maintain a steady course and level.